Thought Archive

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Raising the Alarm

Several books I read recently, Julian Darley, included, discuss the unsustainability of the current energy-intensive economy and urge not only to be efficient, but - much more than that - they urge us to scale down. What's more they are attacking impossibility of the debt-based and profit generating economic system which is currently upon us. Nevertheless, I am not convinced by some of the arguments that leads them to this point : most importantly of Oil and Natural Gas, and scarcity of other sources of energy for the growing world. Maltusean prediction and some dodgy calculations are employed to prove the point.

Leonardo Maugeri points out:

All of this does not respond to a basic question "are we running out of
oil" but seves no neat the camp that a doomed scientific answer already
exists, whereas there is none."

In fact the appropriate answer would be not to alarm people that there are no resources left, which plainly untrue (however it is a fact that there are no additional sources of energy within in easy rich of the Western economies, with China looming on horizons, it is also a fact that inability to secure those reserves for the short time generates some of the instability (e.g Middle East, Russia, Sudan) but point out that:

  • If science is to be believed, the current world economy growth is unsustainable because of global warming. It is important to generate world-wide, not Western consensus on this issue.
  • Western economies are not sustainable without access to the fossil fuel (and so is China's). High commodity prices are here to stay.
  • Developing world feels that growth around the world should not be sacrificed to uncertain scientific projections of the western science.

Instead of being alarmist, there should be a thougthful review of all alternatives. If we indeed should "power down" - then it everyone should "power down" according to their means. Of course, the opposite may happen with developing world not being able to sustain any economy at all!


NoolaBeulah said...

He really did have a unique voice. Powerful, delicate, rich and clear.

Satisfy my curiosity, please. How many Azerbaijanis go in for Verdi and Puccini, as your profile says that you do? Personally, I think Verdi was/is one of the greats of music, the Shakespeare of opera.

Another one. What is Ottoman music like?

Hazar Nesimi said...

Well you underestimate us, we have a decent if small Opera House and pride ourselves on having the first Muslim writing the Opera.
I would say reasonable, but small number of the middle classes.
Ottoman Court Music - extremely refined form of the oriental improvisation based mainly on religious or love poetry.